The Mayak space satellite gains altitude

The Solar system, the Earth, Russia, Moscow. The team of the Mayak developers is happy to announce the official start of preparation to the orbital launching of their satellite – the Russia’s first spacecraft created using the crowdfunding method. The main goal of the project is to promote space exploration and space research in Russia, as well as to increase the attractiveness of scientific and technical education among young people.

“We, the project team, want to show in practice that space has become closer and more accessible, that now the launch of a real spacecraft can be carried out by friends and soul mates, as stated by the project head Alexander Shaenko.

60 years ago, our country launched the first satellite into orbit, which demonstrated to the whole world that space is turning from a dream into a reality. Now we are doing the same for enthusiasts, to inflame them with space exploration, for new Tsiolkovsky and Korolev to appear in Russia”.

After launching and reaching orbit, Mayak will open a solar reflector which will send giant “sundogs” to the Earth. It will look like flashes of the brightest star in the night sky. The reflector is a three-meter regular pyramid made of reflective metallized film, which is 20 times thinner than a human hair. When putting the spacecraft into orbit, the reflector will be neatly folded inside the satellite, and after reaching orbit it will be deployed, taking the given form.

The scientific goals of the project include real-flight tests of an aerodynamic braking device, which will later be used for pulling space debris from orbit. Tracking the satellite’s flight in the upper atmosphere will provide new information about the air density at a high altitude. In addition, the Mayak’s solar reflector will be used as a reference to verify the calculations of the apparent stellar magnitude of space bodies.

The satellite launch is scheduled in Q2 2016 from the Baikonur spaceport at the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage rocket. The team of the Mayak developers concluded an agreement on its launch with the Roskosmos state corporation.

At the Mayak’s official website:, more detailed information about the project and its technical documentation are currently available; you can find there all news, the story about the satellite team, and a short video about how the brightest star of Mayak will be lit up. You will be able to monitor the flight of the satellite and find out the location of the brightest star through your mobile device by installing a special mobile app. The app will be available for download in the nearest future.